Smoked Salmon

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I LOVE Applebee’s savory smoked chicken, so I decided to make up my own copy cat recipe. It was still missing something- like perhaps a marinade? Nonetheless, it was still really good. I ways love an extra lemon wedge with my fish :)
I made my smoke chips “bowl” first. I soaked a hand full of hickory smoked wood chips and a cedar plank for 30 minutes. Using foil as my bowl, I folded them all up in the foil and poked holes for the smoke to escape.
For the salmon, I sprinkled garlic powder, salt and pepper on my filets then placed them diagonally on my cedar board. I put the salmon on the unlit side of the grill and the foil pack on the lit side. I grilled them, rotating half way through, for 30 minutes. It seemed as thought they took forever to cook.
Try it out! Smoked salmon is very very good!!

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Meal Prep – Chicken Breasts, Leeks & Zucchini

I can’t express how important meal prep is in order to keep me an my family on track. It doesn’t take long, and makes my lunches or dinners a breeze. In case you haven’t noticed, when I meal prep I always keep everything BASIC and practically raw. That way I can easily change it up, all while keeping my meals healthy and tasty!

Meal Prep Made Easy! I hate eating the same thing everyday, so this is perfect for me!

This week I prepped grilled chicken breasts with leeks and zucchini plus broccoli and hard boil eggs.

Meal Prep Made Easy! I hate eating the same thing everyday, so this is perfect for me!

 

How much chicken do you need? Well I only wanted 5 meals and each meal needed 4 oz. That meant 20 oz was all I needed. I ended up grilling all the chicken I had and froze what what left over.

Grill the chicken – I drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil over all my chicken breasts. Then I lightly sprinkled some fresh cracked pepper, a little salt and some garlic powder on each breast then flipped them over and did the same thing. I grilled them on each side for about 6 minutes each side. My breasts were cut perfectly – not to thick or too thin. Make sure you cook your chicken all the way aka WELL DONE.

While the chicken was on the grill, I washed and cut up 3 leeks, and 5 small zucchini. I divided them up equally and put into tupperware containers. It was basically 1 cup of zucchini and 1 cup of leeks in each container. Then I weighed out 4 oz of chicken breasts for each container.

The snacks I wanted this week were so simple. Just a boiled egg and some raw chopped broccoli. I chopped three small heads of broccoli and divided them into 5 containers; roughly 1/2 cup of broccoli went into each container.

How to boil eggs – It’s so simple! Put your eggs in a pot. Fill the pot with water until the water completely covers the eggs but 1/2 an inch. Bring the pot of eggs and water to a boil. Once the pot comes to a rolling boil, turn the heat off and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. It makes perfect eggs every time!

Here are some of the meals I made with my basic meal prep this week:

Bacon & Mini Bell Pepper Saute

Meal Prep Made Easy! I don't like to eat the same thing everyday, so this is perfect! Meal Prep Made Easy! I hate eating the same thing everyday, so this is perfect for me! Meal Prep Made Easy! I hate eating the same thing everyday, so this is perfect for me!

Cut up one piece of raw bacon into little bits. Cook in a saute pan on med-high heat until just crispy. Add one mini bell pepper, cook for a minute and then add your meal prep. After everything is reduced and almost done, add a slice of tomato or some small cherry tomatoes for juices. Heat for one minute then serve it hot. Enjoy!

Cheddar & Onions Fajitas

Meal Prep Made Easy! I don't like to eat the same thing everyday, so this is perfect!

I was really craving a fajita with some sour cream! After I made my fajita, I went to grab the sour cream and it was GONE!  Oh, well.

Heat your skillet on medium-high. Slice a mini bell pepper and 1/4 of a yellow onion into strips. Add a teaspoon of canola oil to the pan and saute the onions and peppers for a couple minutes till translucent. Add your meal prep and a dash or two of cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Serve on whole wheat tortilla(s) and some extra sharp cheddar!

Side of Bacon Spinach

Meal Prep Made Easy! I don't like to eat the same thing everyday, so this is perfect!

This side is so easy. If you aren’t wanting a salad try this side instead.

Cut up one piece of bacon into small bits. Fry in a pan until golden brown. Drain most of the fat. Add spinach and toss until wilted. In another pan saute your meal prep.

Garlic Parmesan Meal Prep

Meal Prep Made Easy! I don't like to eat the same thing everyday, so this is perfect!

Saute your meal prep on medium/high heat. Add 1/2 tsp garlic powder and a handful of spinach. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

Southwestern Chicken Meal Prep

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Fail to plan – plan to fail!

I live by that phrase.
When I don’t’ meal prep, my family just grabs food and gobbles it down. Order and structure is a must in my home. One of my favorite meal prep solutions is to cook a huge batch of chicken. Each week I prep a different flavor chicken or other meat.
This week my chicken is southwestern chicken bites.

Southwest Chicken
3 lb chicken
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp chili powder
Salt/Pepper optional
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
2 jalapeños, seeds included

I take 3 lbs of raw chicken breasts and dice them into little 1″x1″ cubes. I put them in a bowl, add cumin, coriander, and chili powder then toss it all coating well.
In a sauté pan, I heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium/high heat then sauté onion, bell peppers, and jalapeños until half way cooked. When half way cooked, I add the chicken and cook 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked completely. Make sure you cook your chicken all the way!
Let the chicken and veggies cool, then refrigerate!
Toss on salads, make a cheesy southwestern pasta bake, or just eat it with some steamed veggies and rice! The possibilities are endless!

Warning: Vampires, this meat sauce is not for you!

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We love spaghetti! I love my sauce meatless while my husband has to have a little bit of sauce with his meat. One thing we agree on is LOTS of garlic! Garlic is so good for our bodies. It is packed with antioxidants that support your immune system which means it keeps colds and viruses away. It helps increase your metabolism to stay lean, and it even decreases bloat and swelling. You can physically rub it on swollen areas like cold sores or rashes and the anti viral, bacterial, and fungal properties will help heal the boo-boo.
We are not very fond of store bought canned spaghetti sauce because it’s loaded with sugar and salt. Plus, it just doesn’t taste as fresh as homemade.
During the summer months we can batches of diced tomatoes so that throughout the winter months we are able to indulge in the sweet, red, hearty flavors of our tomatoes.
Try not to be afraid of homemade sauces. They don’t necessarily need to take hours to simmer.

how to make low calorie pasta meat sauce

This is my go to recipe for quick spaghetti dinners. It’s healthy & easy!
20140104-103935.jpg Can you tell I chop away on that cutting board? I’m pretty sure it’s a couple chops away from becoming two boards..

Basic Meat Sauce

Serves 4; 250 calories each

1 tbsp EVOO
6 garlic cloves
1/2 an onion
1/2 pkg mushrooms – I like baby bella
1 32 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 dried bay leaf
Salt to taste

Heat up a large sauce pan with 1 tablespoon EVOO on medium/medium-high heat. Add the meat and completely cook the ground turkey. Sauté garlic, onions, and mushrooms with the meat until onions are translucent.
For the canned tomatoes: my husband likes smooth sauces; I like chunky ones. So, we compromise. I purée half the tomatoes. You could even purée the mushrooms if your family are extreme picky eaters. I just chop mine up small so they think it’s meat!
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices, then let it simmer on low for as long as you like. I usually start the pasta or spaghetti squash that way the sauce simmers while it’s cooking. Add salt, sparingly, till your taste buds are smilling.
Serve it on your favorite pasta!
I love mine with spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is so easy to cook, but most people so not realized it. Plus, there are multiple ways to cook it. I always go for the quickest and easiest way. I cut it in half, gut it, then nuke it for 7-10 minutes depending on how big it is. Fork out the “spaghetti” & serve!

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Try your on spaghetti squash next time! That way you can actually have that garlic bread lol!